Listen to Your Heart recap: Chemistry test
This week on The Bachelor spin-off, the couples take the stage for their first live performances, while Julia's feud with Brandon and Savannah heats up.
Did you ever think you’d see the day when Chris Harrison, our Bachelor Nation Lord and Savior, would be the one calling out names at the rose ceremony??? I’ll admit, rose lovers, it shook me to my core. But alas, the twist on tonight’s Listen to Your Heart did not involve making Chris Harrison the actual Bachelor. Instead, we’ve moved into the “singing” “competition” phase of this “journey,” and now the couples’ fates rest in the hands of an elite panel of judges. (Nope, couldn’t even type that without laughing.)
It’s another sunny morning at Hummingbird Nest Ranch, and Brandon — who chose Savannah at the last rose ceremony — is about to launch Operation Keeping My Options Open. He pulls Julia aside by the water cooler and makes his pitch. “I knew you were going to get chosen,” he tells her. “I didn’t want to send Savannah home. But I knew that you were gonna still be here so that we could continue…” What? Continue what?
“That’s still something I want to pursue,” he adds. Of course it is, you disingenuous jerk. Hey, here comes Chris Harrison! (And it looks like he left last week’s Star Trek jacket at home.) Of course, our host has an important message:
Anyone who’s seen Bachelor in Paradise (and who among us hasn’t?) knows the drill: There are no new arrivals coming; it’s time to have “honest” conversations about your “relationships,” and so on. Anyone who isn’t in a “real” couple needs to pack their knives and go. (Whoops, wrong show — sorry.) “The next time I see you,” says Harrison, “I only want to see couples that are serious about taking that next step and moving forward.”
Damn, that’s cold. Certain couples — Bri and Chris, Trevor and Jamie, Ryan and Natascha (???) — are unfazed, but the fringe folks are getting antsy. Sure, Gabe gave Ruby his rose last week, but does he even know her last name? (Plus, he has the hots for Savannah, too.) Sheridan has all of his man-eggs in Julia’s basket, but he knows she still has the hots for Brandon.
You know who doesn’t know about Julia’s lingering feelings? Savannah. When Julia tells the “ladies” that she and Brandon had a “very significant conversation,” Savannah is shocked. “Wow… I didn’t know any of this was an issue,” she replies. “I want whoever’s going to choose me to be all in.” As you should, honey. Savannah is even more upset to hear about what Brandon said to Julia at the water cooler a few hours ago.
“Maybe this isn’t, like, what I thought it was gonna be,” says Savannah through tears. She goes outside to cry by herself, but she’s soon accosted by Gabe, who either a) doesn’t realize Savannah is crying (bad), or b) notices she's crying but doesn’t ask her what’s wrong (also bad). Instead, he starts moaning about how hard things are for him right now, because he’s not really feeling it with Ruby. Then comes the move: “I know confidently that there’s no way in which I could honestly continue on the show if I wasn’t in a couple with you,” says Gabe. “With you is the only person I see that possibly being the case.”
Oh FFS. Savannah’s sigh says it all.
Not only does Savannah have to deal with Brandon’s slippery ways, now she’s got to hand-hold Gabe through his out-of-left-field “feelings?" Truly, rose lovers, a woman’s work is never done.
Savannah lets Gabe down gently, telling him she loves their “friendship” but doesn’t see a “romantic spark” between them. Fortunately, Gabe doesn’t try to talk her into liking him. He thanks Savannah for her honesty and heads off to tell Ruby that he (and therefore she) is leaving.
The exchange took a lot out of Savannah. “Two seconds, could I have two seconds, please?” she begs the camera crew following her. They stop their pursuit, and Savannah scurries around the side of the building to sob in peace. Once she’s back in shooting range, though, Savannah has even more bulls--- to deal with, and that bulls---’s name is Brandon.
Brandon reminds Savannah that when he first accepted her rose, he told her he wanted to “explore” things with other people (meaning Julia). When Julia revealed her “feelings” for him after her date with Sheridan, Brandon says he was “blindsided” and felt a “whirlwind of chaos” in his heart. “Unfortunately, I didn’t convey that the best to you, and I apologize for that,” he says. “I’d like to move forward with you.”
That still doesn’t explain why he was just hitting on Julia a few hours ago… but Savannah seems to have forgotten this little detail. “Do you want to do this, or do you want to go home and cry?” Brandon asks her. As loud as you might have been screaming Go home and cry! at your screen, rose lovers, you know where this is going.
“I think he is sincere in his feelings for me,” says Savannah. She does not cite evidence for her claim.
Anyhoo, Julia catches wind of Brandon and Savannah’s reconciliation, and it just makes her so darn man! Sheridan finds her crying out on the patio. “I definitely had something with Brandon,” she tells him. “I’m trying to process all of it.” By the time Chris Harrison hollers at the contestants to come join him in the living room, Sheridan and Julia are all smiles.
“She feels confident moving forward with me,” Sheridan announces. If you say so, pal.
Harrison informs the group that each couple will be assigned a song to perform in front of a live audience and “a panel of celebrity judges” and former Bachelor Nation couples. From here on out, adds Harrison, it’s the judges who will determine which couples stay every week. As for the “prize” at the end? It’s a little vague, but Harrison sells it hard: “The final couple is going to be given an amazing opportunity to start their lives as performing artists. You’re gonna work together with a noted producer, write and record your own original songs, and then the two of you will go on tour.”
Raise your hands if you’d pay money to see any of these “couples” perform. Anyone? Anyone?
But let’s not quibble. It’s time for the “couples” to start practicing their songs. Awww, cute — some intern wrote out little “song cards” for each of them.
Here’s the song lineup that we know so far:
Jamie and Trevor: “I Could Use a Love Song” by Maren Morris
Natascha and Ryan: “Stay” by Rihanna
Julia and Sheridan: “As Long as You Love Me” by Backstreet Boys
Savannah and Brandon: “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick
So yes, producers are totally trolling the couples with these song choices. Natascha thinks she and Ryan have “the best connection musically,” and she hopes that working together will allow them to be “intimate.” Bri, meanwhile, thinks the stress of collaborating together could spell doom for some of her competitors. “I totally could see this breaking up some of the couples here,” she says. Sure enough, when Julia and Sheridan are rehearsing, she keeps getting distracted by Brandon and Savannah, who are harmonizing a few feet away.
“I’m struggling with this right now,” sighs Julia. “What I had with Brandon is what I’m missing with Sheridan… I’m just, like, questioning everything.”
Let’s put a pin in Julia’s misery because it’s time for the first date of the week: Bekah and Danny! Now, I only know who Bekah is because she makes great, GIF-able faces at the camera. As for Danny… Well, I’m pretty sure he hasn’t spoken more than seven words all season? Should be interesting to find out what this dude’s all about.
Bekah and Danny arrive at some random house in the Hollywood Hills, where producers have set up a mini boutique overseen by “stylist to the stars” Rebecca Mink. “I’m hoping tonight will kind of push us further in the right direction,” says Danny. “I’m really feeling that right now.” And I’m really feeling Danny’s Día de Muertos-inspired shirt.
Once he and Bekah are all dolled up, producers treat them to a little photoshoot. Then they order Danny and Bekah to strip off all their fancy clothes (they’re on loan, people!) and get into the hot tub. Normally, this would be the part where the “couple” makes out and talks about how “amazing” they think the other is… but Bekah is not feeling it.
“I think that you are an incredible human being,” she tells Danny. “It just takes me a while to get to that space where I just can fall for someone.” Then why are you here, Bekah? Chris Harrison was VERY clear about this — he just wants to see REAL COUPLES. Not FAKE COUPLES WHO WANT TO BE ON TV. Shame on you!
Meanwhile, back at Hummingbird Hut (or whatever), an increasingly disgruntled Julia is talking Jamie’s ear off about how phony Savannah and Brandon’s relationship is. “She went zero to 100 real quick with the PDA,” she gripes. “I want to leave because of her.” Why is she taking her rage out on the woman, when Brandon is the problem here? Because that’s how the world works, rose lovers.
This leads to the moment we all knew was coming: The confrontation. That night, Julia pulls Savannah aside for a not-so-friendly chat. “It feels like ever since Chris Harrison said, ‘Couple up,’ you and Brandon have been all over each other,” says Julia. “It feels disingenuous.”
Savannah’s all, And this is your business because…? Julia continues pushing the PDA issue, saying it “turned up to 100, and that came off disingenuous.”
“Who are you to sit here and say that I’m being disingenuous?” Savannah snaps. “That is insane to me!” Us too. But Julia refuses to take any responsibility for this kerfuffle, and in fact, she says she feels attacked. “I’m not in your business,” she says defensively. Then comes the biggest lie of the night.
“This is not coming from a place where I’m like, ‘Oh, I wish I was with Brandon,’” Julia adds. Gurl, peddle your foolishness elsewhere. No one here is buying it.
Hey, it’s time for the second date of the week! Ryan and Natascha arrive at the House of Blues, where a singer named Chris Lane — who just happens to be married to Ben Higgins’ ex-fiancée, Lauren – is performing. Ryan and Natascha get special passes to Chris Lane’s sold-out show, and he even calls them up on stage during his set to sing a few bars.
“It’s a really exciting feeling, that this really could be our future,” gushes Natasha. “I think Ryan and I really are on our way to really being a strong team.” Sure, at least for the next two-to-three weeks.
If you’re wondering what Matt and Rudi have been doing this whole time… well, I can’t really answer that because we’ve only seen them for a few minutes. But they’re here now, it’s time for them to rehearse. Rudi’s feeling insecure about their performance because she thinks the other “couples” are further along on their “journey.” But they do a nice job on their performance of Shawn Mendes’ “Fallin’ All in You,” so she should probably relax. (By the way, Chris Lane is right — Ryan does kind of look like Shawn Mendes!)
Jamie and Trevor’s rehearsal doesn’t go as smoothly, primarily because Jamie is afraid to sing on stage in front of people. (Yes, the same Jamie who signed up for a reality TV singing show about singers who sing.) “I just don’t want to be the one who messes it up,” she frets. “I feel like I wasn’t doing anything right.”
“I just wish I didn’t get so nervous!” Jamie wails after walking off the stage. Welp, you’d better get a grip on yourself, honey, because it’s… PERFORMANCE TIME!
Harrison tells the crowd that the performers will be evaluated on their singing, sure, but the panel will also be looking for “chemistry” between the couples. And the “judges” are…
JoJo Fletcher, the Bachelorette I really should have appreciated more, and her forever fiancé, Jordan; two-time Grammy winner Jason Mraz; and Kesha, who apparently no longer spells her name with a dollar sign.
Couple No. 1: Rudi & Matt
Song: “Fallin’ All in You” by Shawn Mendes
Judges’ verdict: Jason Mraz says Rudi did an “amazing” job on the song and notes that the couple was clearly still getting to know each other. (Duh, bro. It’s been like 3 weeks.) JoJo says it’s clear that Rudi and Matt “enjoy each other,” while Kesha advises them to “keep continuing to let each other shine as bright as you can.”
It was pretty sweet how Matt hugged Rudi after the performance and said, “You did so good. You’re just too good!” And side note: Is it me, or does Jordan have absolutely no idea what he’s doing here?
Couple No. 2: Bri & Chris
Song: “Beyond” by Leon Bridges
Judges’ verdict: “You could not take your eyes off of her, and it was the most beautiful, genuine thing that I have ever seen,” JoJo tells Chris. “I got chills.” Mr. Mraz, meanwhile, points out that Bri was also trying to “entertain the audience,” so he was left wondering, “Were you in love with us, or were you in love with him?” Look at Chris with the eye-roll!
“I really am falling in love with him,” Bri announces. “I can say that so confidently.” Yeah, so suck it, Mraz!
Wait… I’m sorry, did Jamie really just say what I think she said?
Girl, WHUT??? How is that even possible? What did you think was going to happen on a reality TV hybrid dating show/singing competition? “Oh my God,” she moans. “Oh my God.” My sentiments exactly. Get. A. Grip.
Couple No. 3: Bekah and Danny
Song: “Ho Hey” by the Lumineers
Before we get to the judges' verdict, please just take a moment to bask in the excruciating awkwardness of this backstage moment between Danny and Bekah.
Ooof. And his attempt to prove their chemistry to the judges by going in for a peck on stage before the started singing did not help matters.
Judges’ verdict: I mean, this GIF probably says it best.
“There’s a strong friendship between you two right now,” says JoJo, adding that Danny’s failed attempt to full-on make out with Bekah at the end “made me feel like feelings may not be reciprocated between the two of you.” Mr. Mraz says their bridge and harmonies were “shaky.”
Couple No. 4: Savannah & Brandon
Song: “I Want You to Want Me” by Cheap Trick
Judges’ verdict: Well, clearly JoJo and Jordan aren’t feeling it.
“Savannah, I felt like you kept pulling away a little bit,” says Jordan. “It was missing something.” Kesha and Mr. Mraz also seem confused about how much “romance” there really is between these two.
Rose lovers, what am I missing? Isn’t Brandon the one who’s faking here? Just a couple of days ago Savannah was sobbing because she thought Brandon liked Julia. And how the hell does Julia expect us to believe that she suddenly feels “super confident” about her relationship with Sheridan, when just a few days ago she literally said, “What I had with Brandon is what I’m missing with Sheridan”???
Yes, yes, I know. We don’t really know who really said what when. Congrats, Team LTYH — your editing sorcery has worked its demonic magic once again!
Couple No. 5: Julia & Sheridan
Song: “As Long As You Love Me” by Backstreet Boys
Judges’ verdict: “Sheridan, I felt like your eyes were locked in on her,” says JoJo. Kesha agrees: “Sheridan, I feel like you have, like, love in your eyeballs… And your voice is beautiful.” Mr. Mraz goes so far as to say that the duo has “a Kenny and Dolly thing going on,” but that’s a bridge too far.
Couple No. 6: Ryan & Natascha
Song: “Stay” by Rihanna
Judges’ verdict: “Natascha, you have a tremendous power in your voice,” says Mr. Mraz. “Ryan… while you’re also great, she is soaring all around you.” Dayum, that’s harsh! Totally true, but harsh.
Unrelated question: Do you think the couples did a breath check before going on stage? This is some real close singing.
Couple No. 7: Jamie & Trevor
Song: “I Could Use a Love Song” by Maren Morris
Judges’ verdict: Well first, we have to listen to Jamie’s tearful declaration about how hard it’s been for her to learn to love herself, etc. “I honestly wouldn’t be able to be on this stage without you,” she sobs, hugging Trevor. The judges totally buy it. “There was nothing forced about it!” raves JoJo. “You demonstrated such vulnerability in that performance that we all are growing out of it!” raves Mr. Mraz. “You should feel so proud of yourself right now,” says Kesha. Well, she feels something, that’s for sure.
Congrats, toots. And someday you’ll realize that you don’t need a man by your side to perform. (Plus, a little Spray n’ Wash will probably get those grass stains out of your dress.)
The next night, the rose ceremony rolls around, and I’ve gotta say, it’s a weird one. Chris Harrison stands beside the all-important Rose Podium, which is laden with six long-stem roses and six boutonnieres.
“Tonight, this rose ceremony is going to be very different,” he explains. “For the first time, judges will be making the decision on who gets these roses.” But the judges ain’t here, so Chris Harrison himself is the one announcing which “couples” will be continuing on. Then the couples ask each other, “Will you accept this rose?” Like I said, it’s weird. But there’s a global pandemic, and any Bachelor content is better than no Bachelor content. Rose ceremony roll call: Jamie and Trevor, Natascha and Ryan, Rudi and Matt, Bri and Chris, Julia and Sheridan, and Savannah and Brandon.
It should come as a surprise to no one that Bekah and Danny are headed home, in separate Reject SUVs, of course.
And so, the Julia-Brandon-Savannah triangle lives to see another day. Before you sign off, let me know your thoughts: Did any of the performances impress you? Is Savannah faking her feelings, or is Brandon faking his feeling, or maybe is everyone faking all their feelings? Post your thoughts below!